Lee Siegel (cultural critic)

Lee Siegel (cultural critic)

Lee Siegel (born December 5 1957) is a New York writer and cultural critic who has written for "Harper's", "The New Republic", "The Nation", "The Atlantic Monthly", "The New Yorker", "The New York Times", and many other publications. [http://www.nybooks.com/nyrb/authors/989 The New York Review of Books: Lee Siegel] ] Siegel is a senior editor at "The New Republic" and lives in New York City with his wife and son.


Siegel was born in The Bronx, New York, and received his BA, MA and M.Phil. from Columbia University. He worked as an editor at "The New Leader" and "ARTnews" before turning to writing full-time in 1998. "The New York Times" called him "one of the most eloquent and acid-tongued critics in the country." David Rieff wrote about Siegel that "to read him is to be reminded of what criticism used to aspire to in terms of range, learning, high standards, and good writing and--dare one say it?--values."

In 2002, Siegel received the National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism. The citation lauded Siegel's essays as "models of original thinking and passionate writing... interp|Siegel's tough-minded yet generous criticism is prose of uncommon power--work that dazzles readers by drawing them into the play of ideas and the enjoyment of lively, committed debate." [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465078001/ Amazon.com: Falling upwards] ] Siegel has written several essays for art catalogues, and several introductions to reprinted classics: D. H. Lawrence's "The Lost Girl", Gershom Scholem's "Story of a Friendship", and Janet Malcolm's "In the Freud Archives". [ [http://www.granta.com/shop/product?product_id=2778 Granta: Janet Malcolm Collection] ] He is the author of several books, including: "Falling Upwards: Essays in Defense of the Imagination" (2006), "Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television" (2007), and "Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob" (2008). [ [http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=3&ti=1,3&Search%5FArg=Siegel%2C%20Lee&Search%5FCode=NAME%5F&CNT=25&PID=6683&SEQ=20060927155419&SID=2 Library of Congress Catalog: "Falling upwards: essays in defense of the imagination"] ]

Siegel has been the book critic for "The Nation", [http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/lee_siegel The Nation: Lee Siegel] , 2005] art critic for "Slate", [http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/lee_siegel The Nation: Lee Siegel] , 2005] television critic for "The New Republic", [http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/lee_siegel The Nation: Lee Siegel] , 2005] staff writer for "Talk" magazine, staff writer for "Harper's", contributing writer for "The Los Angeles Times Book Review", and associate editor of "Raritan". Since June 2006, he has served as senior editor at "The New Republic". Siegel is known for coining the term "blogofascism," a term that he meant to describe what he considered the blogosphere's dominant rhetoric of insult, intimidation and attack, which he claimed was exemplified by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. [" [http://www.tnr.com/blog/culture?pid=22000 Blog This] ", "The New Republic Online", 22 June 2006; " [http://www.tnr.com/blog/culture?pid=22271 The Origins of Blogofascism] ", "The New Republic Online", 23 June 2006; " [http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20060807&s=diarist080706 Il.Duce.blogspot.com] ", "The New Republic", 28 July 2006.]

"The New Republic" controversy

In September 2006, Siegel was temporarily suspended from "The New Republic", after an internal investigation determined he was participating in misleading comments in the magazine's "Talkback" section, in response to anonymous attackers on his blog at "The New Republic"'s website. [James Parker, " [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2006/09/10/we_see_you_lee_we_see_you/ 'We see you, Lee. We see you.'] ", "The Boston Globe", 10 September 2006.] The comments were made through the device of a "sock puppet" dubbed "sprezzatura", who, as one reader noted, was a consistently vigorous defender of Siegel, and who specifically denied being Siegel when challenged by an anonymous detractor in "Talkback." In response to readers who had criticized Siegel's negative comments about TV talk show host Jon Stewart, 'sprezzatura' wrote, "Siegel is brave, brilliant, and wittier than Stewart will ever be. Take that, you bunch of immature, abusive sheep." [Citation
last = Aspan
first = Maria
title = New Republic Suspends an Editor for Attacks on Blog
newspaper = New York Times
pages = Section C, Page 4
year = 2006
date = September 4, 2006
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/04/technology/04republic.html
] "The New Republic" posted an apology and shut down Siegel's blog. In an interview with the "New York Times Magazine," Siegel dismissed the incident as a "prank." He resumed writing for "The New Republic" in April 2007. [ Lee Siegel, [http://www.tnr.com/columnists/story.html?id=0f91a88e-5b5d-4c50-a632-75570e16ced1 'The Niceness Racket'] , "The New Republic Online", 23 April 2007] Siegel's critique of Web culture, "Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob", was published in January 2008.


External links

* [http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/pep/pepdesc.cfm?id=4177 Video Interview: Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob] at LIVE from the New York Public Library, April 10, 2008
* [http://themoderatevoice.com/media/internet/18225/18225/ Review of "Against The Machine"]

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